Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Choice of Paris

Paris, of Homeric fame, was chosen by Zeus to decide which goddess was the most desirable: Aphrodite, Hera, or Athena. Each attempted to bribe Paris with various wonderments, but in the end he choose Aphrodite, who had promised him Helen, the most beautiful women in the Greek world (I would have picked Athena, because who can resist the combination of hot, smart, and tough? It's like Jennifer Garner in "Alias.")

This ultimately proved a poor decision, as it precipitated a 10 year war against Paris's home town of Troy, his dead brother Hector being drug around behind Achilles's chariot, the razing of Troy, and Paris's own death.

I have my own choice of three to make. I hope it turns out better.

Later this month, buddy Charles and I are tackling the Ohio to Erie trail. This runs 300 miles from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. Neither of us have been training particularly diligently for this task, so we are approaching this adventure with guarded optimism (our largest source of optimism being that we live in Central Ohio, so can pretty easily bail out around day three).

A wiser biker would have been carefully preparing and tuning his ride in the preceding months, making sure the position is dialed in exactly and that particular combination of racks, bags, and cages works out just right. Maybe taking the setup on an S24O or two to test it out. Instead, Friday found me completely changing the cockpit of my Velo Orange Camargue, inspired to go from the H bar to drop bars:

This felt great on my moonlit demo ride on Friday night, but a longer ride on Saturday left me with all of my usual drop bar complaints, mainly involving lots of hand positions, but none that are very good. Still, the Camargue is exactly designed to be a touring bike, with lots of useful braze ons and a great front end geometry. I just wish I liked it better.

Valuable bike testing time this weekend was lost so we could travel for an overnight wedding:

(Kate (in blue) thankfully didn't inherit my dancing genes)

Thus I had to make do with some shorter rides today on my Cross Check as a candidate:

Ignoring the discs for a moment (the CC is temporarily sharing wheels with the Breezer below), the Surly Open Bars gave me one great hand position, wide and comfortable, with another position further forward on the curves that is adequate for headwinds. A bit of tingling in my left pinky toward the end of the ride brought back memories of previous times I've used the Open Bars for S24O rides. This has been a minor issue with swept back bars in the past--always my left hand for some reason--and I'm worried it may prove a bigger issue over six days of riding.

The outlier candidate is my Breezer:

I'm very comfortable on a flat bar with bar ends, and it would be fun to have all of the braze ons from the Fargo fork along with the security of disc brakes and big, fat slicks. On the other hand, there are no braze ons for the rear of the bike, meaning I'll have to jury rig racks and fenders with P clamps. This may hinge on whether I can fit the VO rack on the Fargo fork, thus allowing me to carry front panniers and only rely on my Carradice saddlebag for the rear load (as a secondary point, after weeks of having the Breezer for sale with zero interest, I just got an email this evening about it)

The logical choice would be to put AT-2 style bars on the VO, and use that. But I feel like the Camargue already has one wheel out the door, and I'm not sure I want to spend six days with it. The almost as logical choice then would be to put those bars back on the CC... but I still find myself tempted by the sharp looks of the Breezer.

I just need to keep in mind that choosing the pretty face didn't work out so well for Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Breezer may wear nice makeup, but her curves just don't do it for me. And you aren't the type to love 'em and leave 'em, so I don't see you taking the Camargue. I'm predicting victory for the CC. Smart and tough? Absolutely. Hot? We'll just have to see if the gods (weather and otherwise) smile on us! I should make a mental note to reserve some of each meal for a burnt offering.


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